A purified glue prepared by boiling gelatinous animal tissues in water and purifying, evaporating and drying the product.
Description.—A non-crystalline solid in sheets, flakes, shreds, or powder; without color or slightly yellowish, and having a feeble characteristic taste. Unalterable in dry air, but readily decomposes when moist or in solution. Insoluble in alcohol, fixed or volatile oils, ether, chloroform or cold water, but swelling and softening in the latter, 5 to 10 per cent of which it absorbs; soluble in hot water, glycerin, and acetic acid. It is largely employed in making gelatin capsules for the tasteless administration of medicines.
Preparation.—Gelatinum Glycerinatum, Glycerinated Gelatin.
Action and Therapy.—Styptic and protective. Gelatin may be used in the treatment of some forms of eczema and nasal catarrh; and as a soothing protective in rectal affections. It enters into the pharmacal preparation of capsules, lozenges, wafers, suppositories, court plasters, and as a coating for pills. Its intravenous or hypodermoclytic use (of about 3 ounces of a 1 per cent sterile solution) to increase blood coagulation in aneurism or hemorrhage is less in favor than formerly, now that coagulin and similar ready prepared biological preparations are available.
Internal. Gelatin is demulcent and may therefore be used as a lenitive after cases of irritative poisoning. While having some antidotal power over iodine and bromine and the alums, it is undesirable on account of the length of time required to prepare it properly for use. As a proteid food it is prepared largely in various ways for feeding the sick, and owing to its freedom from the formation of indol it has been advised as a part of the diet in intestinal putrefaction showing marked indicanuria.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.